T Nation

Am I Intermediate or Advanced?


Training on and off for a good few years. Squat 315lb for 8 reps, Trap Bar Deadlift 360lb x 5, BP 270 x 4. chins with 70lbs around my waist. I'm 5'8", 31 years old, small frame and weigh 185lb pretty lean around 10/12%.


Intermediate. You probably would be advanced if you didn't train "on and off".


I think this is an "if you have to ask..." question.


Also, the fact that he stated he has a "small frame".....


Well sometimes i feel the length of training should make me advanced. But my stregnth/ development is not.


my wrist is just under 7 inches at just under boney part which, according to a few formulas makes me a small frame. My arms have been 17 inches at peak with 30 waist. What you think?

My reason for asking is shall i concentrate on strength again for a while and bulk then translate the strength into traditional hypertrophy training in say a year or two?


I've been a shitty basketball player for 18 years now, that doesn't make me advanced in any way at basketball.

Edit: not saying you've done a bad job, its just that you dont get credit for time served.




My thoughts exactly.


Agreed. There are people on this site who have lifted for 20 years. They are still BEGINNERS.


You're doing fine muscle-wise if you're really a lean (or even lean-medium) 185 at 5'8".
How much more mass you can add depends on a lot of things, but I'll be shell-shocked if you can get to, say 205 pounds at the same body fat naturally....EVER (assuming your bf reading is accurate).




185 lbs at 5'8 (assuming you're 'solid' bodyfat wise) is very respectable. Some people will never develop great strength, but are able to slowly pack on more size over the years. If you were training for strength, I'd adamantly say that you were not advanced in the least. COnsidering that your training has been sporadic, yet still you have respectable numbers,.. well, you must have done something right.



185 in good leanness can be impressive on 5'8 but to say he'd be shell shocked(ninja turtles reference? lol) if he got to 205 at the same bodyfat is selling people short especially when you can't see pictures of them and their numbers aren't likely close to their genetic limit(untapped growth hopefully).

That's all I was commenting on.


...and I agree with you. I used to train with a guy who was 207lbs (last I saw him weigh himself) at 5'7".

But then, he was more serious than most of the people on this site come across. He also did NOT have the best genetics I had ever seen. He just knew what he wanted and didn't train "off and on" or avoid eating enough like most newbies.

Many people sell themselves short because they are getting advice from other people who aren't really trying to do much and who believe everyone has bad genetics.


You mean Him right...like it'd be hard for him, not a general statement relating to everybody?


I was taking his age and likely unwillingness to "bulk up" into account, obviously.


He's 30/31 and most bodybuilders seem to reach their peak in their mid 30s(at least the pros do)... so if he wanted to and went from being "off and on" to "really F'in dedicated" I think 205 would be easily taken over.


The freakiest short-ish natural dude I have trained WITH (not trained...edit) is a guy who trains in my former gym, Stephen Bongiorno - 5'7" 196 pounds @ 8% DEXA (look for him on facebook, anyone who has an account). However he began training at 13 (currently 27), and is focussing on weak points with carb cycling rather than adding mass. He bulked up to a weight of 230 at one point and now stays just shy of 200 ripped!!!!

If a person isn;t already huge and bulky by age 30, I don;t see anyway he can add significant size from that point without harming himself. The 30's and 40's are for dieting down slowly, working on conditioning and bringing up weaker parts without bulking too much.

For the OP, I don;t really think its much of a challenge to have good proportions when you're on the shorter side. Someone who is 5'7" - usually with shorter limbs and full muscle bellies - will fill out beautifully with tolerable proportions with just about any half decent program with enough food without even gaining a lot of strength. But carrying a lot of LBM NATURALLY is a different issue. For someone who is 6'6" gaining a lot of LBM is never a problem, but having good proportions/filling out is a different issue - naturally or not.


If he was REALLY fucking dedicated to gaining size, he should have developed a working knowledge of "assistance" and decided on his first cycle and A ROUGH idea when he plans to start, by now.
If a person is able to add a ton of size naturally (as some can but not everybody), more power to him. If he is not, he can either commit to gaining size at all costs or wear the "natural" cape for the rest of his life looking almost the same.